Tag Archives: fun

How to make your photography fun

How can you say you love photography if it is 99% frustration? Do you even enjoy it?

These were some of the questions put to me after my last blog post. Not questions which got me thinking or made me feel anxious about how to answer.

No, I fully know why I continue to shoot and why I truly love everything to do with photography. But, how can you make photography fun? Well…

Toyko, 2017

SEE IT AS FUN

I do it because there are few things in life which satisfy my soul like photography. When I get in the zone, when I am on the street and lost in the moment, it electrifies me. I come alive and whatever worries or problems I may be carrying lighten in load.

It is exhilarating. It is life-affirming. It is fun. And fun is something I believe is so neglected in photography. I believe fun is something which is so neglected in adult life. Ask an adult what they do for fun and you will embarrass them. The word fun seems to become loaded when we pass from childhood. Fun seems like something illicit; something we ought to be ashamed of. Ask a child what they do for fun and watch how excited they get when they tell you. If you have a hobby, you should have that childlike excitement and passion for it. If not, abandon it.

Cork, 2015

YOU ARE MAKING MEMORIES

In August of last year, I gave a talk at at Zafigo X travel conference about photography and how it is all about moments, all about creating memories. Photographs are visual entries in your diary which become powerful in their capacity to catapult you back in time.

When I open up iPhoto (I use it to categorise events) and look through old images, it can launch me back to when and where I was and land me softly in the emotion of that moment. It is magical. It becomes something beautiful when I do it with my two kids. The dynamic of they discovering how they were when they were little babies or toddlers and my reminiscing of days that are now long gone is a gift that just gives and gives.

My little daughter and her grandfather

Sumi-Anna aged two reading Voltaire

YOU CREATE, YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF

I need to create. Why? Because it puts me on a path of discovery and understanding. Photography is about picking up a camera, pointing it at something or someone because your instinct tells you you need to capture that instant; to claim it and keep it for later examination. This in turn may lead to later learning and with some luck lead to subsequent experimentation. When I look back now at what I was shooting in and around 2012/2103, I see I was much more experimental. I shot much more blur; particularly on the iPhone. Why? Because of the limitations of the device. It performed poorly in low light, had no image stabilisation and working my way through this I discovered that these limitations allowed me to create beautiful blur imagery. Funny how these days I sometimes feel I have lost that freedom to create. 

Shot on iPhone 4. 2012

Photographic Punctuation

CONFORM TO ROUTINE

Conform to routine and routine will conform. I am a very ill-disciplined person. My life’s maxim is to not do today what you can do tomorrow, because tomorrow you might not need to do it. I leave things go forever and ever, discovering new excuses to put things off with graceful ease. I have wasted so much time. Photography changed things for me. Flickr found me wanting to share my photography on a regular basis. This meant I had to photograph on a regular basis. I began on Flickr in 2007. By 2009 I was posting photographs there on an almost daily basis. By 2012, I was posting to two accounts almost every day.

I committed to photography. I conformed to the routine and the routine conformed. This calms and soothes my soul. It gives me discipline. There is not a day goes by that I do not spend time taking/making photographs, looking at those of others, reading about photography, or hatching plans for my photography. It has been the most beautiful learning experience and has been so rewarding for me. I can say I have become a better person because of photography, because of the commitment to it. 

Tokyo, 2015

IT IS THE FRIENDSHIPS YOU MAKE

Want to become a better photographer? Here’s how. Spend time with other photographers. You have to. You need to spend time with like-minded people who get you. People who won’t find it strange or rude that you have the concentration powers of a puppy dog when you are walking down a street with them. Spend time with people who inspire you, people who push you to experiment, push you to achieve. People you can learn from. When I look back at the past few years, I see I have been so lucky in this respect. I have met some wonderfully creative people; wonderfully kind people. People whose work can stop me in my tracks and make me want to improve; to get to their level. And those few you might meet along the way who are insecure, jealous and negative. Cut them loose. There is truth in the saying to surround yourself with positive people. 

Copenhagen, 2014

IT IS THE STRANGERS YOU GET TO KNOW

But they are all just photographs of strangers. People you do not know. What is it about random people that interests you? This is what a friend asked me once about my photography. Ya, I don’t know them, but there is something in every one of them that I recognise. Something that resonates with me. I may not be able to immediately (or ever) say what exactly it is, but I photograph them because something attracts my attention to them. It can be a look, a gesture, a posture. It can be because they looked at me. It can be because I want to look at them. They are characters in my story. I can construct or deconstruct their reality to suit my perception; to build my interpretation. 

Waiting for hair to grow. Hanoi, 2012

And then there are those strangers who I get to know a little. Those who I stop and ask if I can take their photograph. Those who I continue to ask questions as I shoot them. Those who I tell little things about myself as I try to get them to reveal who they are. I love these connections. This opportunity to get to know people a little. It can be amazing what they tell you, and it can be beautiful what their portraits can reveal. 

We all want to be seen; we all want to be heard. Photography can allow this.  

Bangkok, 2017

IT GIVES VALIDATION TO WHAT YOU DO

I would be lying if I said I didn’t get a buzz from winning competitions or being selected for big global ad campaigns. The first time I won a competition (Mira Mobile Prize) I cried. It was a dream of mine to win a competition and truthfully I never believed I would. When it came, I was overwhelmed and felt so relieved. It was a form of validation. Any artistic pursuit is framed in doubt. We can never be sure if it is right; if it is worth anything. Competitions provide some validation. But you know, it is bullshit too. Photography should not be a competitive pursuit.

Winning photo: IPPA 2017

IT IS ALL ABOUT LEARNING

What is life about if it is not about learning? It never stops. There is nothing which enriches life more than learning. Granted I could spend my time learning more about the technical aspect of photography or learning about photography gear, but that does not excite me. What does excite me is that with every photograph I take, I learn. Learn about myself, learn about life. See mistakes and ya, get frustrated. But that frustration is positive. It is what drives me to learn and improve. 

London, 2015

STORIES; SO MANY STORIES

So many. Stories that are immediately evident and others that slowly reveal themselves. 

Delhi, 2016 (Nikon D7000)

IT DRIVES YOU ON

I have often talked about how viewing the photographs of my friends has inspired me and pushed me forward in wanting to improve in my own photography. It is so true. Seeing friends posts photos on a regular basis keeps me wanting to do the same. Seeing them shoot something new excites me to get back out and get shooting. I try to spend some time each week looking through photo books of established, renowned photographers. This is a different type of inspiration because these are not photographers I get to engage with. Their work is polished and presented as the finished article. Yet, there is so much to learn as you explore the connections in the photographs they showcase in a coherent and cohesive presentation in book form. 

Mumbai, 2016

YOU DISCOVER HOW TO SEE

What is photography about for me? It is trying to see what can be seen and how to see it.

As Dorothea Lange said: The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. On every photo walk I have been on, one thing always strikes me. While we all walk the same route and can see the same things, how we observe and interpret them can be so different. It is what makes photography exciting, it is what gives it endless possibilities. When you are working with fractions of seconds when the shutter opens and closes, you are also working with slight shifts in centimetres, angles and aspects which can dramatically alter images.

Photography doesn’t allow me to see, it pushes me to see; to construct, deconstruct and create. It elevates beyond seeing. It allows me to begin to understand. To be part of my surroundings and to be an external observer of it too. 

Tokyo, 2017

So is it really 99% frustration?

Of course it is not. It can feel like that at times, for sure. But it definitely isn’t. It is what I do for fun. And whenever I experience that ongoing frustration, I keep coming back to why I photograph. And the answer is always the same. I do it for fun. I do it for me. 

Bali, 2017

Posted in Brendan Ó Sé. Brendan Ó Sé photography, iPhone, iPhone photography, photograph posts, Street Photography, Travel Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

December 21 2014

This year in Taipei I did a little experimenting with panning. A photographic technique I had not tried before. Taipei with its thousands of mopeds and motorbikes was a perfect location to try this out and I managed to get one or two good results.

A few weeks back in Berlin, I tried to get a few of passing cyclists, but seeing as my intention to do this only occurred as I saw the cyclist approach, the result is not as I would have expected. However, the white glow of the wheels was an unexpected, but pleasing result. Photography is fun, and there is nothing funner than standing on the footpath swaying and swerving those hips as you try to get a cyclist in motion as they pass. It is even more fun after a drink! Try it.

Berlin

Berlin

 

This is another I got with that fun app 1-hour photo on the iPhone. I love that app so much. It gives such beautiful tones for black and white images. I love harsh sunlight too.

Have a good Sunday.

Unobstructed Commitment

Unobstructed Commitment

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

October 21 2014

Two photographs today from Copenhagen. Both in black and white. This first one was taken with the DSLR.

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Knowing something that others don’t

This one was taken with the iPhone. Everyone loves an ice-cream!

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Copenhagen

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

September 4 2014

Coming to final image in the series of three and this one is different to the other two in that the moment has passed. The once excited and animated character and I have passed each other. Once passed, I turn and shoot one more shot of him. He pulls his coat shut around him, lowers his head, slows his walk and heads towards Shibuya station. I glance through the three images on the display and immediately know that I like the three shots.

I think they look good together and am posting the three here. Thanks to all for the very generous feedback and comments.

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Tokyo Nights

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Tokyo Nights [2]

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Tokyo Nights [3]

I had so much fun with the iPhone in Tokyo. It is such a great little camera. It fits so snugly into my hand and you can get in really close without disturbing or startling people.

This shot today was also taken in Shibuya on that famous crossing I keep going on about. The guy is striking with his neck tattoo and nose ring. So often with these type of candid shots the moment after the photograph is more interesting. Once I had this taken he started laughing at me, talking to me in Japanese and gesturing at the iPhone. When I showed him the photo there was more laughing, more Japanese and then a little bow and off he went. It is great when you can make a connection when out shooting, even if you do not share a common language, photography is a language everyone shares.

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What the eyes don’t see

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

August 28 2014

August 28 2007 is a day I will never forget. I became a father on that day to a beautiful little girl we called Sumi-Anna. Sumi is Korean and Anna, well Anna is international. Growing up I had many dreams, ambitions, desires. But the one that burned and burned was to become a father. I had to wait for this for what seemed like always; what seemed like never. But it came like that old cliche – when I least expected it. And that moment when we left the labour room, my wife with our newborn in her arms and us holding each other’s hand was the greatest feeling I have ever experienced in my life.

Before becoming a father, I read and was told by everyone that it would change me; that I would not recognise myself when I became a father. I looked forward to that so much, eager as I was to leave my old life behind. Around the time she was born I remember checking to see if this was true and honestly, then I felt no different. Fast forward a few months and I could not recall how life was like before she was born. Everything had changed.

Being a father is the hardest job I ever have had. She is seven today. She woke at 6 in excitement. She and her brother played as quietly as exuberant little children can as their parents try to get just that little bit extra sleep. As I am writing this, she is singing around the house.

We have a little birthday tradition. We get a double decker bus into the city centre and sit at the front on the top deck. We go for a smoothie and a little cake and after that we head to Waterstone’s where she picks out some new books. Along the way, I will try to get photographs of the two of us together. Today, I let her take photographs. She loves it when I give her the camera. When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, she tells us ‘ a photographer!’

On the bus, I ask her will you remember this and before she responds she looks at me, tilts her head a little, gives me a smile and shaking her head from side to side she says: “Daddy, of course I will. How can I forget my birthday? On the way home, we try to get the seats at the front upstairs again. Luckily, we do. The bus bobbles along and Sumia is non-stop chatter. I hold her hand and wait until next year. I won’t forget these days either.

The photograph I chose to post on Flickr today is one of my very favourites of Sumi-Anna. It was taken when she was just over two years old. Taken in the back garden of my parents’ house. My mother (Sumi-Anna’s bestest friend) was sitting on this little bench reading Candide. Sumi-Anna was playing in the garden. Granny was reading. This caused curiosity. She toddled over, took the book, turned it over and over in her hands and then sat down, opened it up upside down and stared for the longest time at the indecipherable text. As fortune would have it, I had the camera with me.

This image we have printed and it hangs in our bedroom.

Happy Birthday, Sumia! Juah!

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Happy Birthday

The iPhone image I chose for today is one of her playing in the garden on the swing. This summer has been fantastic by Irish standards. It has been raining the past few days and makes you realise how few days of rain we have had this summer. I hope as she gets older exuberance is never far.

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Sumi-Anna

 

 

Posted in Daily posts to Flickr, iPhone, My own favourite photographs Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Korean Restaurants

One of the best things about travel has to be the food. Coming from a country which is not renowned for its cuisine, getting the chance to travel to exotic places and taste the variety of dishes they have is such a treat. But food is not only experienced through taste. No! Food arouses all the senses.

Enter an Korean restaurant and your senses are overwhelmed by the noise of the kitchen and waiting staff as they hurriedly plate up and serve the food. The other diners loud in conversation, their laughs echoing around you. You hear food crackling  and hissing as it is tossed in hot oil, plates and dishes clinking and clanking, the fragrance of the food rushing through the restaurant as the doors to the kitchen swing open and shut. All the while you sit and wait in anticipation to see what will be served up, sitting there in awe of the pace and momentum of it all. Then it arrives! Plates and plates of food. No other country gives you as much food as Koreans.  Side dishes, so many side dishes. Little saucers of garlic, pickled onions, pickled turnip, beansprouts, tiny fried fish, the ubiquitous kimchi (the national dish of Korea) and always a big bowl of steaming hot broth, all placed around the barbecue in the centre of the table.

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Korean food – more side dishes to come

Korean restaurants don’t cater for the solo traveller. Eating is not a solitary activity in Korea. It is something communal to be shared. You cannot get a dish for one in a restaurant and many restaurant owners, on a busy night, will turn you away should you be on your own. You would be taking up valuable real estate sitting on your own at a table designed for four. When I was in Seoul, I wandered around Gangham (ya, the place made famous in that song) for well over an hour before I found a restaurant that would take me in. I was met with the Korean gesture for no – the two index fingers crossed and a regretful smile and tilt of the head. Eventually, a ajuma (a middle-aged Korean woman) took pity on me and let me in, muttering away to herself, in what I guess was pity for this poor traveller all alone and nobody to eat with. She escorted me through the crowded restaurant past the tables of animated and loud Koreans out to the back where she pointed to a beer barrel with a tray on top of it and pulling over a stool up to it, indicating that this was to be my table. I looked at her. She looked at me. She with a look of this will have to do for you, and me with a look of pleeeease, can I sit with the others? We exchanged these looks, both of us trying to convince the other, neither of us willing to give in. But someone had to, something had to be done.

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Eat up!

So, I took the tray off the beer barrel, handed it to her and lifted the beer barrel up (it was empty – I am not that strong or stupid) and walked back out to the main part of the restaurant and plonked it down to the side of a table of bemused looking Koreans and with a this is better, isn’t it? look I smiled at the waitress and hoped she would also smile in return. She did! And I can only imagine what she said to the table of Koreans next to me that caused them all to erupt in laughter. But I didn’t mind. I was hungry and more than anything I was right in the centre (well centre enough) of all the activity and I was going to lap it all up.

She handed me the menu and with the limited Korean I have I ordered Bulgogi, a beef dish that you fry yourself at the table. To accompany this, I had a small bottle of soju (Korean rice wine) and a bottle of Korean beer. As I said, Korean restaurants do not cater for individual guests. My order was a meal for two and luckily I have no problem in putting away enough food for a small family in one sitting. The only problem was that how could it be cooked! I was sitting at a beer barrel. A beer barrel without a barbecue. More laughter erupted and did not subside until the penny dropped for me and I realised my predicament.

With much gesticulation and hope, I managed to order some other food, food which did not need to be cooked at my table and I waited until the table next to me became free and I was able to relocate and use the barbecue there.   For the next hour or so, I waited contentedly at my beer barrel taking in the sights, the sounds, and the smells, all the while picking on great food and getting that little bit drunk on Korean soju. I must have been a peculiar sight sat there on my own at the beer barrel, but I loved it!

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Sharing food

 

Eventually, the people next to me vacated the table and I jumped in. I was surprised to see that when they got their coats the waitress sprayed them down. I was baffled as to what was happening, but then it dawned on me that she was using Fabreeze to rid them of the odours of the food and tobacco (still legal to smoke in Korean restaurants). Koreans do service so well! They even think of what will happen to you after you leave. You would not like there to be a lingering odour. Oh, no! So they you spray you down! And a thing I love is that there is no problem in asking for more of anything in a Korean restaurant and the best thing is that when you want your waiter to come, all you have to do is ring the bell on your table and hey presto, they arrive.

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Korean Restaurant Scene

 

The restaurant began to empty out and things quietened down. The waitresses were able to take a little break and the cooks came out from the kitchen to join them. Feeling their eyes upon me I gave them a nod hello and a thumbs up for the great food. They smiled back and bowed their heads. I raised my little shot glass of soju to them, finished it off and gestured for the bill. After paying, I stood up and expected to be sprayed down. Unfortunately, I did not get this treatment. Perhaps, they felt I wanted the experience to linger.

It has!

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My friendly waitress at end of night shift

Posted in photograph posts, Street Photography Also tagged , , , , , , , , |

Mobile Photography Awards

Last Wednesday, the results from the Mobile Photography Awards (MPAs) were announced. This was my second time entering the competition. Last year, I did not place. This year, I got two honourable mentions for the photographs below. This is a competition I really like. It is exceptionally well-organised and there is so much quality in the winning images and those which received honourable mentions. Mobile photography is innovative and has real momentum. There is a thriving mobile photography community and some extraordinary people driving it forward with passion. Daniel K. Berman, the founder of the Mobile Photography Awards, is one of these people. The MPAs, I believe are helping photographers to emerge and to gain recognition. And also, the competition is inspiring photographers to learn, to experiment, to innovate and to have fun.

Photography is a hobby for me. I remember reading something from Eric Kim (I tried to find the quote, but couldn’t) where he said that as a hobby photographers bring more passion to it than professionals whose income depends on it. Eric Kim talks a lot of sense and his Street Photography blog is, for me, one of the very best blogs on the net. I have learnt so much there.

And you know, he is right. As a hobby, it is about fun. And a lot of fun involves competition. By nature, we are competitive. We contrast what we can do and how we do it with the things others do and their methods on a constant basis. Photography is a fine example of this. I have learnt more from the photography of others than from my own photographic practice. Viewing and studying the images of others’ feeds and informs my evolution in what I want to see and how I want to see and present it. This learning can be considered a derivative  of competition. When I see and admire photographs, I want to be able to shoot like that, but I want to put my own stamp on it. I aspire to get to the level of expression these photographers have. It motivates and inspires me. It gets me competing if you want, and the process of imitate, assimilate and innovate begins. 

I do not agree with those who are against competition in life; those who say it is not good to foster a competitive spirit in children. I don’t agree. We need to learn to compete, to learn to win and more importantly to learn how to lose. Along the way, we can discover the fun, the enjoyment, the satisfaction that comes from pushing ourselves, from wanting to realise potential.

I have entered a few photography competitions now, about 5 in total. In hindsight, the hardest part is selecting the images to enter. I have learnt that it is best to trust my instinct on this. A hard thing to do. In submitting images, I find I am trying to second guess the judges and I try to enter images that I hope they would like. Then when the results are revealed and I learn I did not win, I tend to feel guilty and regret putting in images that I connected with.

And there is the thing. If you enter a competition, you want to win. You want all others to come after you. There is no other motivation. When you don’t win, you can feel despondent. You examine your work. You hold it up to that of the winners. You cast an overly-critical eye on it and wonder where the hell you are going in your photographic journey. But, this feeling passes. And it passes because the endeavour, the hobby, the passion you have for it cannot be diminished by the choices of a judge or judges. No, the passion, the desire to show what you see and to show how you see it surfaces and you get out and you shoot again. And you enjoy it. You get back to looking at others’ photos and they inspire you and the whole things kicks off again. You want to learn. You want to sharpen and sensitise that eye to see better. And you begin to dream that next time will be your time. You’ll win.

What a hobby photography is. What a community has sprung up in the past decade. Am I right to think that before photography might have been an often- lonely and solitary pursuit? Now, with all the social media sites for photography, there is a vibrant community sharing and learning.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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A new week

Posted in iPhone Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , |

December

Only a few weeks have passed in this new year and looking back at last month’s images makes me think years have passed. Time is a strange concept. Twenty six posted images in December and I can only choose one, and to be honest, there is only one I would choose. I saw this gentleman approaching on a cold December morning while I waited for my wife to arrive. A popular meeting point in Cork city is outside Cash’s, now known as Brown Thomas. I was there waiting, people watching and all my attention was drawn to this well-dressed, small gentleman. He may have been old, but his face had a look of cheeky mischief. For some reason, he got me imagining what he might have looked like as a little boy. He did not smile nor frown. He carried himself with grace. Yet, I could just picture him in short pants, long socks, battered brogues and a tattered shirt and tie, and ya, that cheeky, mishievous look. He was lovable.

Discreetly, I got the photo. My wife arrived. I showed her. She nodded and smiled and said when asked that, ya, he looked cute. He does, doesn’t he? A gentleman, but you just know that little boy is still there, still ready for mischief.

That’s the year done. Bring on 2014. Photography!

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December

Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

A year of iPhone photographs

Mobile photography? Hasn’t all photography always been mobile? I have never had a camera that was not portable. OK, only in recent years did I get a camera that also had other functions, but photography has always been mobile. If you check the statistics for uploaded photographyyou will see that nowadays the most commonly used camera is not a stand-alone camera, but a multi-functional device that has an inbuilt camera. More people than ever before are enjoying photography, and predominantly this is in the form of a smart phone that has a camera. In an effort to understand and deal with this phenomenon, the term mobile photography has been coined. But is it time to drop the mobile part? I think so.

There is irony in that on my part, seeing as I separate my traditional photography and mobile photography with two separate Flickr accounts. But hey! Contradictions and hypocrisy is what makes us humans interesting.

I completed my end-of-year review for my DSLR images last week and now I am beginning to look back at 2013 and choose my favourite images taken with my iPhone. You know, I will enjoy this more. The iPhone is more fun. Shooting with the DSLR, I feel more of a responsibility to adhere to and to achieve photographic standards; to manipulate the settings of the camera to good effect. But with the iPhone it is liberating. I point, I shoot, do a little post processing and very often upload immediately. Just fun! And what is the point of a hobby if it is not fun. I am not saying the DSLR is not fun, but I prefer the iPhone. It is lighter, more compact, less intrusive and it is a damn fine camera.

Looking back at the year of iPhone images, I am really pleased. There are a lot of good memories in those photos. The one I am choosing for January was taken on second day of the year in 2013. It was a cold, grey wintery day, but still all the family got together and headed to Inchadonny beach, which is about 50km from Cork. Kids love the beach. Last year we were lucky to have a good summer and many happy days were spent at the seaside. The image below shows my beautiful little girl, Sumi-Anna, playing on the sand, drawing figures. The sky expands above her and the Atlantic appears calm in the distance. The start of a new year with possibilities as vast as the sky, with love as forever as the ocean. Kissing that future…

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January

Posted in A Flickr Year, iPhone, My own favourite photographs, photograph posts Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , |

Photography for algorithms

Flickr Explore is a mystery. How do they choose the 500 photographs each day? What criteria is used in the selection? Is it the number of views a photograph gets? Is it the faves? Is it the tags? Is it the groups it is submitted to? Is there a photography guru in Flickr headquarters trawling through the millions of photographs posted to Flickr each day and whittling it down to 500?

No, apparently it is an algorithm they use. An algorithm is ‘a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.’ Now, I can see how selecting 500 photographs to represent a cross section of interesting photographs is a type of problem that needs solving, but photographs are taken by people, viewed and enjoyed by people, yet somehow a computer employing an algorithm can calculate and select for us interesting photographs. 

I find it bizzarre.

But I find it fun. I love when an image of mine hits Explore. Your views rocket. You gain new contacts (or followers as Flickr wants us to know them as now). It brings out a competitive nature in us all. We want to see how high our photograph can climb in the ranking in Explore. Ya, it is just good fun. Photography is the greatest hobby anyone can have and hobbies have to be enjoyed. Fun! And Flickr’s Explore is fun. Nothing more. It sure as hell is not a judge of how good a photograph is. A lot of dross make Explore, but you will find interesting photographs on there.

When I joined Flickr first back in 2007, I was intrigued by Explore. It was mysterious and exclusive. The photographs chosen all seemed so much better than mine. The photographers so much cooler too. Try as I did, I never could get a photograph in Explore. But then towards the end of 2009 my photos started to appear in Explore and man was I delighted! I posted each day and each day my shot hit Explore. Back then they had the extra bonus of choosing a select few for their Front Page and when your shot hit that, you were a Flickr King or Queen for a day. But then suddenly it all changed. A new algorithm came in, an algorithm that cast its calculating eyes far from my photographs. I was out, banned from Explore, crestfallen. I looked on in envy to those new photographers whose photos were pleasing this new algorithm. And again, try as I might, I just could not get back in. Ya, there were a few occasions when a shot would gatecrash in when the algorithm was busy recalculating, but the days of hitting the heights on Explore were gone. 

In 2011, when I got into mobile photography I opened up a new account for my iPhone images and in late 2012 a few shots began to make it to Explore. It seems to come and go in cycles now. I will get about 7 or 8 shots into Explore in succession and then months with nothing. The past few days have been exceptional in terms of Explore. The three shots below all made it to the main page of Explore. The first one actually made it to Explore number 1, but then fell to number 2. My views have gone through the roof. Absolutely ridiculous stuff, but fun. That is all it is, really. 

So, there you have it. Photography for algorithms. That is how low, how shallow I have become. Shame on my photographic self.

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Always Leaving

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House Proud

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All I have become is someone else’s passerby

 

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